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Obama to open protected areas to offshore drilling

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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By Jim Tankersley, LA Times

Reporting from Washington - President Obama will announce new plans to drill for oil and natural gas off America's coasts Wednesday but will rule out drilling off California, Oregon and Washington state through 2017, administration officials say.

Obama's plans will include opening new areas of coastal Virginia and other parts of the mid-Atlantic region, Alaska and the eastern Gulf of Mexico for drilling. But officials say the president will block drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay, where the George W. Bush administration's drilling plans in 2007 angered environmentalists.

According to administration officials, the plan would:

* Eventually open two-thirds of the eastern Gulf's oil and gas resources for drilling.

* Proceed with drilling off Virginia, provided the project clears environmental and military reviews.

* Study the viability of drilling off the mid- and southern Atlantic coasts.

* Study the viability of drilling in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas -- areas hotly defended by environmentalists -- but issue no new drilling leases in either sea before 2013.

The eastern Gulf of Mexico leases hinge on Congress lifting a moratorium on drilling there. Even if that happens, administration officials said, Obama's plan included no drilling within 125 miles of the Florida coastline.

The announcement, scheduled for an energy security event at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, will be Obama's first major policy step into the politically charged area of offshore drilling.

The president's drilling plans run through 2017. The likely scope and details of the proposals represent compromises that risk angering energy companies and environmentalists alike.

The proposals will be open for public comment for several months, then will be finalized by the administration.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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Obama is a jack a$$.

See, I know this was coming so it'd look like he would be doing something 'good.' He's trying to save face now.

He issued an executive order back in early 2009 blocking this exact type of drilling after congress had approved and opened up the drilling after it had been closed off for quite some times.

He was just waiting for the right time for him to look good...


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